UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has again called for "maximum restraint" in the Arabian Gulf region, warning all parties that a new confrontation "would be a catastrophe."
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq reiterated the UN chief's plea to avoid any escalation when asked Thursday for Guterres' reaction to Britain saying Iranian vessels tried to block one of its oil tankers in the Gulf.
Haq said the UN hopes all nations "will take steps to avoid" an escalation and confrontation.
Responding to a question on whether the secretary-general supports the US and others' calls to safeguard ships passing through the Gulf, Haq reiterated Guterres' call to avoid escalation.
"We want, of course, for everyone to allow for the freedom of movement of vessels and we're hopeful that they will abide by that," Haq said.